• Capt. Joseph Remesz-Guerrette, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., assembles a radio to make a med-evac request while being evaluated for the Expert Medical Badge, March 31. Remesz-Guerrette was one of more than 200 military medical specialists who were at Army Support Activity - Fort Dix, vying for the coveted badge.  (TSC/5-Rivers Services photo by Ed Mingin)

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    Capt. Joseph Remesz-Guerrette, Walter Reed National Military Medical Center, Bethesda, Md., assembles a radio to make a med-evac request while being evaluated for the Expert Medical Badge, March 31. Remesz-Guerrette was one of more than 200 military...

  • An Expert Field Medical Badge candidate, in the final testing phase,  low crawls to assess a patient  on a Combat Training Lane at ASA-Fort Dix. After the patient assessment and combat care, he is also graded on his skills of preparing a litter that will be hoisted aboard a helicopter simulation.

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    An Expert Field Medical Badge candidate, in the final testing phase, low crawls to assess a patient on a Combat Training Lane at ASA-Fort Dix. After the patient assessment and combat care, he is also graded on his skills of preparing a litter that...

  • Master Sgt. John Castillo, a native of Port Arthur, Texas, salutes during the opening ceremony March 23 of the Expert Field Medical Badge two-week long competition. The platoon leader from the U.S. Army's Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., is serving as a training leader on one of the lanes that evaluates military personnel on their medical and Army warrior skills knowledge in a simulated combat scenario to save Soldiers lives on the battlefield.   At least 60 medical tasks are evaluated during the run phase of the training.

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    Master Sgt. John Castillo, a native of Port Arthur, Texas, salutes during the opening ceremony March 23 of the Expert Field Medical Badge two-week long competition. The platoon leader from the U.S. Army's Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground...

  • Sgt. Rchard Sopko, of Charlie Company, 114th Infantry Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard, at a chemical biological task on a ASA-Fort Dix combat training lane as part of the Expert Field Medical Badge program.

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    Sgt. Rchard Sopko, of Charlie Company, 114th Infantry Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard, at a chemical biological task on a ASA-Fort Dix combat training lane as part of the Expert Field Medical Badge program.

  • Maj. Gen. M. Ted Wong, commanding general of Northern Regional Medical Command
Chief, US Army Dental Corps, Fort Belvoir, Va., coaches Soldiers April 1, on the eve of the event timed 12-mile ruch march  which is the last training event for military personnel participating in the Expert Field Medical Badge 15-day competition where medics tackle more than 60 medical and Army Warrior Training Tasks vying for the coveted EFMB Army skill badge.  On March 23, 180 military personnel stepped up for the challenge. By this time, only 49 remain vying for the coveted Army skill udentifier badge.

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    Maj. Gen. M. Ted Wong, commanding general of Northern Regional Medical Command Chief, US Army Dental Corps, Fort Belvoir, Va., coaches Soldiers April 1, on the eve of the event timed 12-mile ruch march which is the last training event for military...

  • Capt. John Heniger, of Walter Reed's B Co., Sgt. Justin Webb, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and Staff Sgt. Justin Vanhoy, 6th Medical Logistics Management Center, take a break to refuel after completing land nav. while vying for the Expert Medical Badge, March 31. Almost 180 Soldiers were at Army Support Activity - Fort Dix in hopes of successfully garnering the coveted  badge. (TSC/5-Rivers Services photo by Ed Mingin)

    Expert Field Medical Badge, Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., Northern Regional Medical Command, Fort Belvoir, Va. Maryland Army National Guard,

    Capt. John Heniger, of Walter Reed's B Co., Sgt. Justin Webb, 3d U.S. Infantry Regiment (The Old Guard), and Staff Sgt. Justin Vanhoy, 6th Medical Logistics Management Center, take a break to refuel after completing land nav. while vying for the Expert...

  • Capt. Andrey Tsepelev, of the U.S. Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., at left, evaluates Sgt. Rchard Sopko, of Charlie Company, 114th Infantry Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard, at a chemical biological task on a ASA-Fort Dix combat training lane as part of the Expert Field Medical Badge program.

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    Capt. Andrey Tsepelev, of the U.S. Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., at left, evaluates Sgt. Rchard Sopko, of Charlie Company, 114th Infantry Battalion, New Jersey Army National Guard, at a chemical biological task on a ASA-Fort...

  • 1st. Lt. Matthew Ruiz, of the 174th Infantry Brigade's Bravo Company, 2nd-312th Training Support Battalion asks for a mile marker count during the April 2 12-mile ruch march along the ASA-Fort Dix ranges, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst as part of the Expert Field Medical Badge training program. The two-week long training event led by the staff of the U.S. Army Medical Research & Materiel Command pitted Soldiers medical knowledge in a combat simulated environment to save fellow warrior lives encompassed more than 60-medical tasks, in addition to Army Warrior tasks, day and night land navigation, and a written test. The timed march is the last event before receiving the medical bade. The Marlton, N.J., resident who started the event with nearly 180 other personnel on March 23, was one of 45 to receive the coveted Army skill badge.

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    1st. Lt. Matthew Ruiz, of the 174th Infantry Brigade's Bravo Company, 2nd-312th Training Support Battalion asks for a mile marker count during the April 2 12-mile ruch march along the ASA-Fort Dix ranges, at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst as part of...

  • Maj. Gen. Joseph Caravalho, Jr., commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, at Fort Detrick, Md., and deputy for Medical Systems to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, speaks to 180 candidates vying for the Expert Field Medical Badge at Jont Base McGuire Dix-Lakehurst. His sppech to the Soldiers is was about never giving up training for the badge which is one of the most ardous training events sponsored by the Army.

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    Maj. Gen. Joseph Caravalho, Jr., commanding general, U.S. Army Medical Research and Materiel Command, at Fort Detrick, Md., and deputy for Medical Systems to the Assistant Secretary of the Army for Acquisition, Logistics, and Technology, speaks to 180...

  • Sgt. Nobby Ona, of the U.S. Army's Kirk Medcal Clinic, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. and an Expert Field Medical Badge candidate, unpacks his dufflebag for a show down inspection before going to the field to begin the competition. The Honolulu native joins the ranks with 180 andidates vying for the coveted badge in the two-week-long competition.

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    Sgt. Nobby Ona, of the U.S. Army's Kirk Medcal Clinic, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md. and an Expert Field Medical Badge candidate, unpacks his dufflebag for a show down inspection before going to the field to begin the competition. The Honolulu native...

JOINT BASE MCGUIRE-DIX-LAKEHURST-- After nearly 15 days of challenging and exhaustive challenges, 45 Soldiers received the Army?'s prestigious badge known as the Expert Field Medical Badge on April 3.

But what the Soldiers will remember most is what Mother Nature had thrown at them- the worst of three seasons in the way of blustery winds, rain and snow.

"I'll remember laying on the ground doing land navigation during the standardization portion of the training plotting my points and when I got there was two inches of snow on top of my ruck," Capt. Matthew Ruiz, a medical officer with the 174th Infantry Brigade?'s 2nd-312th Training Support Battalion, said.

The night before the last event-the 12-miled time ruck march- as he prepared his pack one last time-the Marlton, N.J. candidate said. "I didn't think I would get this far."

He did finish early the next morning and joined the graduate ranks to receive the coveted medical badge. When he first fell in the formation to test his combat medical and Army Warrior skills there were 180 candidates on March 23. He joined 25-percent of those, 45 Soldiers, to receive the coveted badge.

The grueling attention to detail to survive in combat and save other lives in a combat simulated environment proved to be a daunting task for many.

"You have to be on your game for every Army skill badge. But this badge is not called the really good field medical badge, it?'s called the Expert Field Medical Badge," Master Sgt. Daniel Correll, of the Fort Detrick, Md., headquartered U.S. Army Medical Research Institute of Infectious Diseases, said.

Correll, a Bangor, Pa. native, was the lead evaluator and range noncommissioned officer of one of the three combat training lanes. On his lane, candidates are graded on the skills of evaluating a casualty, and begin immediate combat care to stabilize a patient.

From there, they had to navigate through the many tasks associated with handling medical litters, and communicate to get the patient follow on medical care. Candidates will be graded every detailed step of the way from calling in a nine-line medevac report using various litters to loading the patient in a vehicle or helicopter.

The candidates, from the Army and National Guard, were also graded at various different Soldiers?' tasks known as Army Warrior tasks. There are an estimated 60 medical tasks challenging the candidates on the training lanes.

"The competition is a long journey," Correll said of the long event sponsored by U.S. Army Medical Research and Material Command, Fort Detrick, Md. The journey begins with candidates arriving and conducting a detailed show-down inspection in the cantonment area to make sure they have the equipment needed to safely participate in the competition.

From there, the military candidates who are doctors, nurses, combat lifesavers, medics and infantry for the training period were transported to the ASA-Fort Dix field operated Contingency Operating Location. They spent their entire time in the field on the hunt for the badge created by the Army in 1965, which is the non-combat equivalent to the Combat Medical Badge.

In addition to being evaluated on the lanes, personnel work long hours at passing a written test, providing combat medical care in a chemical, biological environment, and perform day and night land navigation.

At the April 3 pinning ceremony, Maj. Gen. Joseph Caravalho, Jr., commanding general of the U.S. Army Medical Department Medical Research and Material Command, congratulated all who finished the program.

"As you all know our mission on the battlefield is to save lives. Today, we are better prepared then yesterday," Caravalho said.

Each cadre leader will say the most difficult challenge with the highest wash out rate is their combat training lanes, but there is really no one specific area being the toughest. The NCO Cadre, who wear the badge, will always bring up land navigation as difficult. It could be one missed navigation point difference that will get a candidate a no-go.

Master Sgt. John Castillo, a lane leader from the U.S. Army Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., said it was the land navigation that knocked him out of the ranks when he tried to get the badge.
"You know, I was a first sergeant-a leader of Soldiers and when it happened I did not want to talk to anybody. But when I returned to my unit the sergeant major came to me, offered tips and said the next time you go, you?'ll get it. He really helped me out," Castillo, a Port Arthur, Texas native said.
Castillo achieved his goal and was pinned in 2012-the first time the event was held at ASA-Fort Dix , JB MDL.

USAMRMC, in collaboration with the Public Health Command, Aberdeen Proving Ground, Md., the Northern Regional Medical Command, Fort Belvoir, Va., and the Maryland Army National Guard, sponsored the EFMB.

Page last updated Wed April 9th, 2014 at 20:04